Iranica/Opposite Day in Iran
Kiki Mercury

Animals in Pornography
Matthew Shultz

Japanese Hangover
Eric Ottens

My Young Coconut Juice
Mike Toe

Politics in Your Coffee
John Dugan

Buy a Link Now


[Matthew Shultz]

Dear photographers of pornography and cheesecake:

Please stop putting animals in your pictures.

Paging through a recent issue of a periodical I buy for its articles, I happen on "Bella," a passably attractive bottle blonde posing nearly nude in a fake ice cave. The snow is polyfiber; the ice is lucite. Wearing just a pair of knee-high silver boots and two rings (one ring on her middle finger and one in her navel), she's perilously underdressed for the fake climate. No doubt she‚ll need Han Solo to gut his Tauntaun presently.

By her side, at the opposite end of a silver chain she's holding, is a wolf. Or a wolf-dog, or Alaskan Malamute, maybe. Now, I'm a broad-minded consumer of pornography. A fellow has to be willing to suspend some disbelief to liaise sexually with a magazine. Therefore, I can overlook the weird sci-fi SantaLand set. But what's this dog doing here?

You see animals in girlie pictures often, and it's weird. Maybe the photographer hopes the juxtaposition suggests the model's something of a wild beast herself... nothing but a mammal, apt to do it like they do on the Discovery Channel. But ask any man whose date wouldn't get busy while her cat was watching: Bella is not in a sexual situation.

Suddenly the reader doesn't want to see Bella nude anymore, but wearing long-sleeved denim coveralls and one of those K-9 trainer-style padded cast-sleeves. You cannot be too careful when it comes to animal safety! If this dog jumps on Bella playfully, or even affectionately, she's going to get some nasty scratches. She does not, after all, have any clothes on. However, as this is a "gentleman's" publication, to have Bella appear in a bite-suit would defeat the purpose of her appearing at all. Therefore, out, damned Spot.

Of course, Bella's dog is probably well-trained. It may even be sedated. (If so, maybe it and Bella both started posing in skin mags for the same reason: to fund their respective downer habits.) Maybe its trainer is on the set, overseeing everything, ensuring nothing goes wrong. But I don't want to think about him; I'm trying to liaise here. And even careful animal trainers cannot always prevent a mauling. Did you see that lion tamer getting attacked on Extra a couple weeks ago?

No? Well, it was fucked up.

I recall a poster I saw in shopping mall print and frame shops when I was a kid: a dark-haired woman, reclining, her secondary sex characteristics concealed under a judiciously draped python. Or it may have been a boa constrictor. They're hard to tell apart. (One difference is that pythons are oviparous, meaning that female pythons produce eggs that hatch after they have been excluded from the body. By contrast, their more widely distributed Boidae family cousins, the boas, give birth to live young. Boas are ovoviviparous, meaning they form eggs that develop within the body of the parent, but without nutritive or other metabolic aid by the parent. None of this was pictured, however. I would have remembered that.)

So, OK, I get it. The snake is, like, a phallic symbol or whatever. And a sledgehammer of a symbol it is, too... a thick fellow in the grass, if you know what I mean! But a snake cannot be a phallus. His scales will catch. I guess he is also meant to allude to original sin and the Fall, or some shit. None of this, however, is the least bit hot. Quite to the contrary, it drains the sexuality plumb out of the picture. Naked women are in girlie magazines so that men can imagine themselves bedding them. But my man, you can not have sex with this woman, naked though she is. There is a snake on her.

It's troubling to consider, but am I supposed to imagine these animals and models as partners in zoophilic sex acts? In the back pages of the magazine featuring Bella, there are ads for special interest films with ambiguous but suggestive taglines. Fun on the Farm vaguely promises "scenes of beautiful women performing acts you never thought they would!" Freak Me Doggie Style features "freaky women and their deepest desires!!" Presumably these videos do not feature bestiality, but there's no disclaimer here to discourage the optimistic deviant. I assume they comprise scenes of women performing legal sex acts with other humans, proximate to animals. I'll pass.

And so, pornographers, please, from now on, for my sake, keep your spreads free of fauna. Stick to situations with which everyone can identify... like two 27-year-old women having a slumber party that turns Sapphic, or a sexy public defender pleasuring her client through the bars of the county jail.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to drape little curtains over all my bird cages and herpetaria, so I can masturbate without being watched, and judged.


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